Army

July 5, 2013

Thunderbirds land at Fort Hood, Texas, begin new chapter there

Col. James Parks, III, brigade commander, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice Rambert, brigade command sergeant major, uncase the brigade colors during the June 26 ceremony on Sadowski Field. The uncasing of the colors officially signals the 11th Signal Brigade’s transfer to Fort Hood, Texas.

FORT HOOD, Texas – Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Signal Brigade, held their inaugural uncasing ceremony June 26 on Fort Hood’s Sadowski Field. Brig. Gen. Clark LeMasters, Jr., commander, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), presided over last week’s ceremony.

On Feb. 18, the Department of Defense approved the unit’s relocation. The brigade, led by Col. James Parks, III, and Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice Rambert, shifted its mission operations from Fort Huachuca to Fort Hood on June 17.

This ceremony, however, officially began the “Thunderbirds” tenure on Fort Hood after being part of the Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista community for more than 47 years. When the relocation is fully completed, approximately 100 Soldiers will have made the move to the unit’s new home.

The brigade was a key member of the Fort Huachuca community, said Parks. While located in Arizona, the Thunderbirds provided support in areas suffering from various disasters that required installation of new communications equipment or upgrades to existing signal equipment for the military or civilian sector, he said.

As the ceremony commenced, the brigade was welcomed to its new home, and officials recognized the benefits of the move here.

“Today we will witness the formal relocation of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Signal Brigade, to Fort Hood, Texas, in order to better align mission support to III Corps and other FORSCOM (U.S. Army Forces Command) units as well as to enhance training opportunities to each element of the brigade,” LeMasters said. “As the colors are uncased this morning in a time-honored tradition, we open a new and exciting chapter in the history of the Thunderbird brigade.”

Lt. Col. Bridgette Simmons, the commander of troops for the ceremony, salutes the official party to show that the colors are ready to be uncased. The 11th Signal Brigade held their inaugural uncasing ceremony June 26 on Sadowski Field at Fort Hood, Texas.

Throughout its history, the 11th Signal Brigade has supported many training missions and operations around the world. This operational tempo has given rise to the Thunderbirds’ claim of being “the most active signal brigade in the Army,” something that has been acknowledged by other Army commands.

The 11th Signal “Thunderbirds” have supported contingency operations and training exercises at home and abroad in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Somalia, Egypt, Honduras, Korea, Cuba, Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq

“Across our Army, the 11th Signal Brigade has become identified by warfighting commanders and higher headquarters as the go-to organization for no-fail, reliable and robust tactical communications support,” LeMasters said.

Although they have left Arizona, their history and traditions will live on. The 11th Signal Brigade was an active member of the Fort Huachuca community, and they are looking forward to continuing that relationship here, officials said.

“Today we begin to write our history here at Fort Hood,” Parks stated. “Our Soldiers and Family members are the best our Army has to offer, and we look forward to serving ‘The Great Place’ to make it an even greater place.”




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